Yellowstone’s Wireless Plan

In the wake of public controversy about the questionable erection of a cell tower overlooking the Old Faithful Historic District, Yellowstone officials in 2004 imposed a moratorium on new towers pending completion of a 'Wireless Plan' for the park.  The plan was intended to establish a set of
policies and 
procedures for dealing with future proposals for towers and other wireless facilities.
In August 2006 after closed-door meetings with representatives from severaltelecommunications companies to map out their plans, park officials for the first time invited public participation relative to its communications plans. One indication of the park’s approach was provided in the letter from Superintendent Suzanne Lewis announcing the open houses:
“The challenge Yellowstone National Park faces is how to respond appropriately to visitor expectations and how to weigh the benefits and impacts of wireless technologies…while protecting the historic, rustic, outdoor experience of a visit to the world’s first national park.”  [Emphasis added] 
Declaring “visitor expectations” as a factor guiding national park management has opened new conundrums with which the park is still struggling.
Plan Unveiled 
This moratorium would last four years.  In 2008, the park released its plan for public review.  In their public statements, park officials made clear that the new Plan’s primary emphasis was on restricting cellular service “so as to protect park resources and limit the impact on park visitors.”
Despite declaring the restrictive nature of the Wireless Plan, the plan seems to have had the opposite effect.  Moreover, the few measures within the plan for restricting cellular use have largely been abandoned. Take a closer look at—